How to Pick the Best CNA College near Prescott Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to start the process of searching for CNA classes near Prescott Valley AZ. As soon as you have achieved your certification, you will launch a fulfilling career in one of the fastest increasing occupations in healthcare within the USA. Although it may seem like a difficult endeavor, it's imperative that you choose the right school to receive the appropriate training and education. Many future students begin with the two most essential qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might additionally be contemplating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them from home. More regarding that option later. But performing your due diligence before choosing a program consists of much more than comparing the tuition or location. Such qualifiers as accreditation and the reputation of the school must similarly be taken into account. We will be covering those issues as well as several other questions that you need to be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But to begin with, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the kind of training and credentials that are offered.
The Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants perform many tasks in the Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, practices and other medical organizations where they are employed. As indicated by their title, CNAs are not licensed by the state but rather are certified. Given that they are not licensed, they function under the guidance and supervision of either a licensed LPN or RN. Plus as nursing assistants, their prime job role is to assist the licensed nurses that they work under. Their duties are numerous and varied, and in a hospital environment may include:
- Furnishing basic services to patients
- Reading patient's vital signs
- Maintaining a record of patient's health status
- Cleaning and dressing patients
- Serving and assisting patients with meals
- Conveying patients to other rooms
CNAs may also work in Prescott Valley AZ nursing homes or long term care facilities. In those environments, nursing assistants are more engaged in supporting patients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs are characterized as routine activities that the majority of people carry out daily without aid, including eating, dressing, or using the restroom. Nursing assistants typically build more of a bond with these types of patients since they usually stay in the facilities for prolonged periods of time. In many cases, they can end up being the pipeline between the patient and the rest of the medical staff thanks to their relationships with their charges. As a result, the CNA's knowledge can be a beneficial resource for preparing the proper care and treatment of long term care patients.
CNA CertificatesUnlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Prescott Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it's important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online CNA Programs
Attending CNA programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and attain a certificate or diploma in Prescott Valley AZ. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online CNA programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). So if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online CNA training program will make it more convenient to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask CNA Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges within Arizona and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the CNA certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education and employment in the Prescott Valley AZ area, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification requirements for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum certification requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Prescott Valley AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Prescott Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Prescott Valley Certified Nursing Assistant School
Choosing the best certified nursing assistant degree program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Prescott Valley AZ.